President Donald Trump on Friday commanded America’s governors to reopen churches and other places of worship shuttered by the coronavirus pandemic, threatening to “override” the state leaders if they refused to follow his directive.

Speaking at a previously unannounced news briefing at the White House, the president revealed that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was “issuing guidance for communities of faith,” and declared “houses of worship, churches, synagogues and mosques” to be “essential places that provide essential services.”

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“Some governors have deemed liquor stores and abortion clinics as essential, but have left out churches and other houses of worship,” Trump told reporters. “It’s not right. So, I’m correcting this injustice and calling houses of worship essential.”

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